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Eastern Settlement

The Eastern Settlement.

As early as the year 986 in the second year of excile the manuscripts indicate the two parts of Old Greenland.  The part of discovery was called the Eastern Settlement but the Western Settlement was undiscovered wilderness, also refered to as Helluland, Markland and Vinland.

There is a very cleare discription on what Eirik the Red was doing over the four years, or to be more precise, four winters, starting with the winter 985/986.  This is from the old manuscript on the Erik the Red Saga.

1. Summer 985/winter/986.   "He was the first winter at Eiriksey close to the middle of the Western Settlemant."

2.  Next spring 986.  " The next spring he vent to Eiriksfjord and settled down. "

3.  Summer of 986.   " That summer he left for the Western uninhabited Settlement giving new names to places."

4.  Winter of 986/987. " He spent second winter at Eiriksholmum near Hvarfsgnípu."

5.  Summer of 987.    " The third summer he went all the way north to Snæfell and into Hrafnsfjörd, at that point,  he considered himself to be at the bottom of Eiriksfjord.  He then went back and was the third winter at Eiriksey at the mouth of Eiriksfjorden."

6.  Winter of 988 at Eiriksey,(gj)  The summer of 988 is the fourth year of excile.  This text above is from Finn Magnusson, one of the editors of Grönlands Historiske Mindesmærker, 1838/45,  Finn died in 1848.      

The second editor, Mr. C.C. Rafn, to Grönlands Historiske Mindesmærker had this to add to the story.

"1.  He was the first winter at Eiriksey close to the Eastern Settlement, the next spring he settled down at Eiriskfjord .

2.  He went that summer to the western wilderness and gave names to places.

3.  He was the second winter at Hólmum under Hvarfsgnípu; but the third summer he vent over to Iceland."

These two editors where reading the same page in the old manuscript with two different conclutions.

Eirik the Red called his farm Brattahlid, on Eiriksey, in Eiriksfjorden.

The map seen is from 1844 made by the Danish and is over the Danish Eastern Settlement of Greenland.

Moving from center topp and east and down we see.

1.  Fjord:  Breidafjord or Ikersoak in Inuit.  There are about 14 ruins around this fjord.

2.  Fjord:  Skovfjorden or Tunnudluarbik in Inuit.  There are about 15 ruins around this fjord.  Brattahlid in the bottom.  Eiriks the Red farmhouse among them.?

3.  Fjord:  Igalikko fjord in Inuit, this fjord has been called Einarsfjorden with Gardar, the place of the bishop, in the bottom of that fjord.  There are about 25 small ruins around that fjord.

4.  Fjord:  Agluitsok fjord in Inuit with some 7 ruins around that fjord.

5.  Fjord:  Sermelik fjord in Inuit with some 5 ruins around that fjord.

6.  Fjord:  Tessermiut fjord in Inuit  with some 4 ruins in that fjord.

With Eirik the Red into the excile where his family of 5 and his 7 crew members and later 1, Snorri Þorbrandsson, pilot on the ship taking Bjarni Herjólfsson out to Greenland.  Those are the fjords given to the crew members as indicated in the old manuscript.

1.   Ketilsfjord he gave to Ketill.

2.   Hrafnsfjord he gave to Hrafn.

3.   Sölvadalur he gave to Sölvi.  ( dalur is vally.)

4.   Álftafjord he gave to Snorri.  ( álft is a bird, a swan)

5.   Siglufjord he gave to Þorbjörn glóra.

6.   Einarsfjord he gave to Einar.

7.   Hafgrímsfjord and Vatnahverfi,(lakedistrict) he gave to Hafgrím.

8.    Arnlaugsfjord he gave to Arnlaug.

9.   Hvalsey he gave to Þórkell farserkur.  ( Whale Island.)

In the manuscript the word fjord can mean jörd(farm) by the spelling,: Ketilsf(jörd) as in the manuscript.

These following lines from the old manuscript on the Saga of Eirik the Red are very clear on where the bottom of Eiriksfjord was.  Eirik leaves Brattahlid on the Island of Eiriksey and sails to this place.  To get to the bottom of Eiriksfjord he has to sail north.

The third summer he vent all the way to Snjófell(Snowmountain) and entered Hrafnsfjord.  At that point he claimed he was at the bottom of Eiriksfjord.  He then returns and spent the third winter at Eiriksey in the mouth of Eirkisfjord.

To have this fact fit into the Danish map is a mystery to me.  The telling of the mystical Nordurseta gives a discription of the suns movement at Nordurseta and down to Gardar in Icelandic Greenland.  That excludes Gardar from beeing in Danish Greenland´s Eastern Settlement.




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